FEI General Assembly 2020 | An Eventful Life

FEI General Assembly 2020

No get together for the FEI General Assembly this year, which is completely online for the first time in 2020


The FEI General Assembly 2020, the first to be held online, is underway, taking place from 13th - 25th November

You can find all the information relevant to the 2020 edition on the FEI website here as well as the link to watch the entire General Assembly

“This online General Assembly – the first of its kind – is one among countless repercussions we have had to contend with, and in many ways, it is a test of our systems and our adaptability, which we have decided to welcome with open arms” says the FEI President Ingmar De Vos in the Welcome

The FEI Board meets twice during the General Assembly week; first at the beginning of the week for Board Meeting I to prepare matters and decisions to be taken at the General Assembly and following the General Assembly at the Board Meeting II to finalise the decisions and welcome the newly-elected FEI Board Members.

Scroll down for summaries of the various sessions


Ingmar De Vos , FEI President with Sabrina Ibáñez, FEI Secretary General during the FEI Online General Assembly 2020


FEI General Assembly - 23rd November

Tokyo 2020 Updates

Impact of Covid-19 one Eventing Numbers

“The resilience, determination and passion over these past few months has been inspiring and I am grateful to everyone for their resourcefulness and ability to adapt. This has been a team effort - we have had to think out of the box and we have had to be quick on our feet” said  Ingmar De Vos, FEI President as part of his closing speech to the FEI General Assembly

The 2020 FEI General Assembly was scheduled to take place in South Africa but, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, was moved online for the first time

The General Assembly was livestreamed for all stakeholders and made accessible to all members of the public. For regular participants such as member National Federations, FEI Board Members and Technical Chairs, special access rights were organised so that they may interact as they usually would.

“This is not the ideal scenario and it certainly does not replace an in-person GA. But it does the job and importantly it allows our members to exercise their statutory right and have their say on the future of the sport” said De Vos in his opening remarks

“This year has been incredibly difficult for everyone, both personally and professionally, disrupting every part of our day-to-day lives. We are still in the midst of a global pandemic and the sport we are all so dedicated to, continues to suffer, as do the many industries connected to the equestrian world. But this is also why we are here – to rebuild. And I firmly believe in our systems, our processes, and importantly in the global equestrian community”

Although the General Assembly was virtual, the normal important decisions were made. Rules revisions and changes were passed, elections for FEI Board positions held and reviews of finances, which includes a 2/3 decrease in revenues for the FEI and a forecast loss of 8.2 million Swiss francs for 2020 as a result of Covid-19, took place as well as discussions regarding the overall impact of Covid-19 on equestrian sport and the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

“This has been a tough balancing act, and of course there will be an impact and there will be measures in place of which we do not yet know the details. But I remain very confident that these Games will go ahead, that our sport will have a wonderful platform. These will definitely be the Games of hope”

“From the very beginning, our main priority at the FEI has been to mitigate the effects and find solutions to protect our community and our sport so that we can not only pick up where we left off, but also learn for the future. This has been and continues to be our focus. It has also been and continues to be an incredible team effort”

Read the FEI General Assembly Wrap Up here (PDF)

Watch the livestream below


RULES SESSIONS – 21st November 2020

A total of 70 of the 109 National Federations registered for the FEI Online General Assembly 2020 joined the two Rules Sessions covering Anti-Doping (Equine and Human) and other Rules conducted digitally today. Also participating in the online Sessions were the Asian Equestrian Federation (AEF) and the International Eventing Officials Club) (IEOC), both of which have Memorandums of Understanding with the FEI.

The opening Session on the proposed modifications to the FEI Anti-Doping Rules for Human Athletes (ADRHAs) and the FEI Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations (EADCMR) was led by FEI Legal Director Mikael Rentsch and Deputy Legal Director Aine Power from FEI Headquarters in Lausanne (SUI).

The second Session on proposed amendments to the FEI General Regulations, Discipline specific rules and Veterinary Regulations, was moderated by the FEI Legal Director, alongside other FEI Directors. The Technical Committee Chairs were also available via videoconference. Delegates had the opportunity to ask questions during both Sessions.


Session 1: Anti-Doping Rules (Equine & Human)

A number of changes have been proposed to both sets of Anti-Doping Rules. As a signatory to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code, the FEI is obliged to revise its Rules for both Equine and Human Athletes to align with the new Code, which comes into effect on 1 January 2021.

Particular attention was given during the Session to the rule changes that will require operational measures by National Federations, including a requirement to update their rules to mirror key provisions of the EADCMR and ADRHA 2021.

The National Federations must also play a key role in ensuring that all Athletes and Support Personnel who are members of the FEI understand that they and their horses are all subject to the FEI Anti-Doping Rules.

The FEI will take the lead on implementing Education Programmes to ensure that all National Federations are in compliance with the Code and International Standards and to ensure their enforcement.

National Federations will also be required to conduct education programmes in cooperation with their National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs) for their international and non-international level athletes, as well as athlete support personnel.

With the changes to the EADCMRs and ADRHA, National Federations now have a duty to report potential violations to the FEI, and Persons Responsible, Support Personnel as well as Organising Committees must be compliant with the Rules and cooperate with any investigations.


Anti-Doping Rules for Human Athletes

The FEI Legal Director highlighted the new rules on Substances of Abuse, those that are frequently abused in society outside of sport such as cocaine and THC. If an athlete can establish that the use of such substances occurred out-of-competition and was unrelated to sport performance, the period of ineligibility is reduced to a flat three months with no argument over No Significant Fault/Negligence. An athlete would have the opportunity of further reducing the period of ineligibility to one month by completing a rehabilitation programme.

Equine Anti-Doping Rules

Following requests from National Federations for the equine anti-doping system to be more flexible when contamination is suspected, the FEI has proposed to expand the concept of Atypical Findings (ATF) in the new EADCMRs. ATFs will be dealt with according to a specific ATF policy, which was approved by the FEI Board in October 2020. Decisions on ATFs will be taken by an ATF Panel, which will have an independent chairperson to be appointed by the FEI Board.


Session 2: Other Rules

The FEI Discipline, Veterinary and Education & Officials Directors, as well as the Technical Committee Chairs, were available to answer questions throughout the second Session. Specific clarifications were provided to delegates on the proposed Rules modifications to the FEI General Regulations, the Eventing Rules and Driving, and both Endurance and Driving generated questions.

It was clarified that Annex D of the FEI Eventing Rules (Medical Services) would be slightly modified prior to publication of the Rules for ease of reading, with newly introduced requirements identified as notes rather than footnotes. The content however will not be changed.

Delegates from the National Federations of Germany, France and the USA expressed concern about the proposed amendments to the invitation process for team Driving Events (CAIOs) where National Federations are invited according to the previous World Championships team results. They felt that it would not be realistic to apply this Rule change in 2021 as there was no Driving World Championship held in 2020 and the number of nations that could compete would be restricted.

This point will be included in the full Rules revision next year and will also be raised with the FEI Board as a potential Emergency Board Resolution if needed.

All proposed amendments to the FEI General Regulations, FEI Discipline Rules and Veterinary Regulations will be voted on at the FEI Online General Assembly on 23 November 2020 and updated here in due course. Delegates will also elect candidates for a number of key positions.

The FEI Online General Assembly commences at 12:00 CET and will be available to watch on livestream here.


Board Meeting I - 18th November

The first Board Meeting took place on Wednesday 18th November and you can view the full Key discussions and resolutions wrap-up (PDF)

The FEI Board Decisions at the first meeting that are Eventing specific or relevant are summarised below


FEI Eventing Committee

Pierre Le Goupil (FRA) was appointed as a member of the FEI Eventing Committee for the four-year term 2020-2024, replacing outgoing member Lars Christensson (SWE)



The Board welcomed the possible addition of a seventh CCI5*-L competition in Fairhill (USA) for 2021. The Eventing Committee has approved the 5* requirements for the Event and the FEI Secretary General will formally approve its inclusion when the FEI Calendar is finalised next month.

The Board approved the 2021 calendar, points system and prize money for the Tri-Star Grand Slam Eventing Series.

The Board was also advised of proposed amendments to the FEI Eventing Rules, which will be voted on at the FEI General Assembly on 23 November 2020.



Due to the extraordinary circumstances of Covid-19, the Board approved the request of the FEI Approval of Laboratory Group (FALAG) to proceed with an online assessment of the Japanese Racing Laboratory (LRC) as an alternative to the onsite evaluation that is otherwise carried out by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA). The online assessment will be conducted by FALAG to determine if the LRC can become an FEI Approved Laboratory.

The Veterinary Director updated the Board on the ongoing work of the International Horse Sports Confederation (IHSC) Brexit Task Force and the status of the proposed solutions for safe and expedited horse movement between EU Member States and Britain following the UK’s departure from the EU. The Task Force has made substantial progress, especially in the area of breeding horses, although several challenges remain, such as the control of horse movement from Great Britain to the EU, in the absence of a trade agreement.

The Veterinary Director also highlighted two of the key proposed amendments to the FEI Veterinary Regulations that will be put forward to the General Assembly for approval. The trimming or removal of horse’s sensory hairs will become a prohibited method, and the amendments include the re-categorisation of Veterinary Services Managers (VSM) as Official Veterinarians



The FEI President and Chair of the FEI Solidarity Committee provided a brief update on the FEI Covid-19 Relief Fund, which has allowed the postponement rather than cancellation of many Solidarity projects. The projects for 2021 were approved at the FEI Solidarity Committee meeting earlier this year and are included in the budget.

Following the Board Resolution of 10 September 2020 on the creation of the FEI Covid-19 Relief Fund (CHF 1,050,000), the Board agreed to move the deadline for National Federation applications from 31 December 2021 to 1 March 2021.

The rationale for bringing the deadline forward is to allow the FEI to reallocate any unused funds to National Federations that have been severely impacted in early 2021, and also reflects the essence of the Fund, which is to react rapidly to provide financial support to address emergencies related to the Covid-19 pandemic.



The Board discussed a number of key topics for the FEI Sports Forum 2021. These will include sessions on Rules Revisions for Jumping, Minimum Requirements for International Events, and the formal integration of grooms as stakeholders within the FEI Community.

The FEI Sports Forum 2021 is set to be held from 19-20 April, with both in-person and online platforms being considered, given the ongoing uncertainty around the Covid-19 pandemic.



The Board received an update on the organisation of Continental and Regional Games for the 2021-2023 period following the scheduling challenges caused by the pandemic. As it is still uncertain if the Regional Games will be able to take place, the qualification processes and competition formats for the Pan-American Games are still to be finalised by the Pan American Equestrian Confederation (PAEC) and Panam Sports.

The FEI Eventing and Olympic Director also gave an update on the Asian Games 2022 to be held in Hangzhou (CHN). The venue is currently under construction and completion is expected by the spring of 2021. Preparations for the Equine Disease Free Zone and related projects are nearing completion and expected to be in place by June 2021.

Dressage headgear

The Board voted unanimously to ‘maintain the implementation of amendments to dressage headgear on 1st January 2021'